Nat Brown — also known as OKLAHOMA CAR CRASH (OKCC) — is all about DIY, from self-booked tours to more than five self-released EPs. He was even doing-it-all music wise, that is until his recent announcement of a new permanent member. While not on tour or visiting his favorite coffee shop, he is writing and recording new music, most of which for OKCC’s next release sometime this summer. We recently had a chance to get an idea of exactly what Brown was up to, as well as find out about the future of OKCC.

How long have you been playing/singing/songwriting, and when did you decide to start sharing it with the world?

I’ve been playing guitar and bass since about 12 years old and have written tons of songs throughout the years for solo material and in THE BURIED when I was in high school. I really started performing when my dad and I used to run an open mic in Falls Church when I was in my early teens though.

You recently announced that Dan ABH is officially a part of OKCC, not just a studio drummer/producer. Can you tell me about your relationship, him as your drummer, producer and friend, and do you foresee adding any other permanent members in the future?

I could probably go on for days about my friendship with Dan. Without Dan’s faith in my music many years ago, I wouldn’t be half the musician or artist that I am now. We met at an open mic he ran that I was told to go to by his partner who worked at a coffee shop i frequented. She suggested it because she knew I liked “DIY” and said Dan was doing the same thing. After a couple of those open mics, he offered to record one of my songs for a compilation that never came out (it ended up on our split), and it really started there.

We realized how well we worked together in the studio, and I kept coming back to him to record my releases. I’m pretty sure Dan has as much of an emotional connection to my music as I do. The ways he has helped me grow as a musician, artist and person are endless. I get very emotional thinking about my friendship with Dan so I’ll stop there. We’re currently figuring out the bass player situation, trying folks out and seeing what fits best.


Do you plan on touring after the completion of the new record?

Absolutely. I’m currently taking a break from touring so I can focus on this record, working and eventually getting knee surgery. I can’t describe how much I’m itching to get back on the road, and I think once this album is finished, it’s going to be difficult to get me to stay home. I’m so excited to play these new songs, and I think [other] people will like them too.

What personally and/or musically is your inspiration for the writing of new songs?

If I had to pick a theme to describe the whole record, I would have to say that these songs focus a lot on the unhealthy habits and experiences. I’m learning a lot about myself and my life right now at 22 that I never noticed when I was 18. I’m really figuring out my body and my mind’s limits, [as well as] the effects and negative consequences that come with pushing those limits. I would still describe my new songs as positive, but it’s a completely different mindset than my older releases.

Musically, on the other hand, I pushed more limits than I thought possible. The inspiration can really be summed up by “Can we do it this way? Let’s try it,” and that mindset has inspired so much musical creativity from both me and Dan, that we’re doing things on this songs that we didn’t even think we were capable of.

How is it touring as a solo musician, and what tips/suggestions would you give to other solo musicians who want to tour? Do you book your own shows/tours?

I have an absolute blast touring solo. Whether I’m completely by myself, or with another solo act. I really value my time alone, especially while driving. It can be very therapeutic go from exerting all my energy at a show then spending 5 hours alone in the car the next day, as a chance to recharge. My biggest tip to any band that’s trying to tour is to have merch. Always.

Not only will it help financially (even if it’s just a little bit), but think about how cool it is to know that a copy of your CD/tape/whatever is on someone’s shelf all the way in Iowa or somewhere that you can’t believe you’ve been to.

I’ve mainly booked my own tours, but I was fortunate that when I toured with UNRAVELER and with TYLER DANIEL BEAN, they took care of the booking because they are much more popular and organized than I am.

I see you are recording a new full length album at The Lab. How is the whole process going?

I can’t imagine having any more fun recording a record than I’m having with this one. Dan and I are now on month 10 of rehearsing/demoing/writing every Wednesday, and every week we lose track of time, rather than counting down the minutes. What started as cell phone acoustic demo’s that were merely skeletons of songs have become fleshed out and reworked to what we consider the best they could be.

If you could tour with one band/musician, who would it be, why, and where would you go?

THE OBSESSIVES. They are a fellow D.C.-area band who I’m very fortunate to have witnessed grow into the mega-emo stars that they are now. Those two are fantastic musicians, wonderful people with the most heart-warming appreciation for everyone and everything. They’re already tackling a full U.S. tour this summer, but I would love to have a chance to do that with them in the future. Check out their new record coming out on Near Mint in a few months.

For more updates on OKLAHOMA CAR CRASH, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Tumblr, and check out their music on Bandcamp.

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